BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Help  |  A-Z Topic List
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
Home  | FAQ Detail
FAQ Detail
What is the difference between jails and prisons?

Jails are locally-operated, short term facilities that hold inmates awaiting trial or sentencing or both, and inmates sentenced to a term of less than 1 year, typically misdemeanants. Prisons are long term facilities run by the state or the federal government and typically hold felons and inmates with sentences of more than 1 year. Definitions may vary by state.

Back to Top